Title:
Disposable water pipe liner
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A Disposable Water Pipe Liner is disclosed. Also disclosed is a liner that is insertible into the chamber tube of conventional water pipe whereby it prevents tar buildup on the inside walls of the chamber tube. The chamber tube liner also has a pre-formed aperture designed to be aligned with the stem aperture in the chamber tube. The liner further has a plurality of guidelines inscribed upon it to aide users in trimming its length such that it is fitted to that user's water pipe. The liner also includes a stem tube liner for slipping over the inner end of the stem to also prevent its being coated with tar and other deposits.



Inventors:
Affinito, Frank (Lomita, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/204914
Publication Date:
02/15/2007
Filing Date:
08/15/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A24F25/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FELTON, MICHAEL J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Karl M. Steins (San Diego, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A liner for water pipes, comprising: a flat sheet of flexible material defining a top edge, a bottom edge and right and left edges; and a stem-oriented aperture formed in said sheet.

2. The liner of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of radial slits emanating from said stem-oriented aperture, said radial slits formed though said sheet.

3. The liner of claim 2, wherein said longitudinal slit is generally perpendicular to said bottom edge.

4. The liner of claim 3, further comprising a plurality of guidelines inscribed on said sheet in generally parallel spaced relation.

5. The liner of claim 4, wherein said guidelines are generally parallel to said bottom edge.

6. The liner of claim 5, wherein said bottom edge and said top edge are parallel and said left and right edges are parallel, said right and left edges being perpendicular to said top and bottom edges.

7. The liner of claim 6, wherein said flat sheet further comprises a longitudinal slit formed therethrough and extending between said stem-oriented aperture and said bottom edge.

8. A liner and sheath combination for water-fillable smokers' pipes, said water pipes comprising a chamber tube having a height and a stem tube inserted into said chamber tube through a stem tube aperture, the combination comprising: a liner comprising: a flat sheet of flexible material defining a top edge, a bottom edge and right and left edges; a stem-oriented aperture formed in said sheet; and a sheath defining a generally cylindrical shape having an inner sheath diameter adequate to receive said stem tube therein.

9. The combination of claim 8, wherein said liner further comprises a plurality of radial slits emanating from said stem-oriented aperture, said radial slits formed though said sheet.

10. The combination of claim 9, wherein said liner further comprises a plurality of guidelines inscribed on said sheet in generally parallel spaced relation.

11. The combination of claim 10, wherein said liner guidelines are generally parallel to said bottom edge.

12. The combination of claim 11, wherein said liner bottom edge and said top edge are parallel and said left and right edges are parallel, said right and left edges being perpendicular to said top and bottom edges.

13. The combination of claim 12, wherein said liner further comprises a longitudinal slit extending between said stem-oriented aperture and said bottom edge.

14. The combination of claim 13, wherein said longitudinal slit is generally perpendicular to said bottom edge.

15. A method for installing a protective liner and sheath into a water-fillable smokers' pipe having a chamber tube defined by a generally cylindrical wall and having a stem penetrating said wall, the method comprising the steps of: disassembling said water pipe; rolling a flat sheet of flexible material into a tube, said sheet defining a top edge, a bottom edge and right and left edges, a stem-oriented aperture formed in said sheet, and a longitudinal slit formed though said sheet between said stem-oriented aperture and said bottom edge; inserting said rolled up sheet into said chamber tube; and releasing said chamber tube.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising a sheath insertion step following said sheet inserting step, said sheath insertion step comprising slipping a stem tube sheath over said stem tube.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein said liner of said rolling, inserting and releasing steps further comprises a plurality of radial slits emanating from said stem-oriented aperture, said radial slits formed though said sheet.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein said liner of said rolling, inserting and releasing steps further comprises a plurality of guidelines inscribed on said sheet in generally parallel spaced relation.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein said longitudinal slit of said liner of said rolling, inserting and releasing steps is generally perpendicular to said bottom edge.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to smoking accessories and, more specifically, to a Disposable Water Pipe Liner.

2. Description of Related Art

Water pipes are a widely used apparatus for recreational smoking of tobacco and other materials. FIG. 1 depicts a conventional water pipe.

Although available in limitless sizes and shapes, the typical pipe 10, as depicted here, has an upright chamber tube 12. The chamber tube 12 terminates at its upper end in a mouth 14. Here, soft plastic rim cover 16 has been attached to the mouth 14, in order to improve the comfort and functionality of the pipe 10.

The chamber tube 12 is held in an upright and stable position by the base 10. As stem 20 extends from an aperture formed through the wall of the chamber tube 12. The stem 20 terminates in the bowl 22 for placing and lighting the smoking materials. A soft (typically rubber or the like) grommet 24 seals the stem 20 to the chamber tube 12 to prevent air or liquid from entering or exiting the stem aperture 32 formed in the wall of the chamber tube 12. In many pipes, a carburetor aperture 26 is formed in the wall of the chamber tube 12 as well, in a position above the stem aperture 32. If we now turn to FIG. 2, we can examine the functioning of this device.

FIG. 2 is a cutaway side view of the pipe 10 of FIG. 1. The chamber tube 12 defines a chamber 28 bounded on its top end by the mouth 14, and further has an open bottom end. The inner surface 29 of the tubular wall of the chamber tube 12 is smooth (since it generally is made from a translucent plastic or glass material. The bottom end is covered by a removable, liquid-tight bottom cap 38. The bottom cap 38 is typically obscured from view by the base 18. The bottom cap 38 can be removed (such as for cleaning, etc.) after first pulling off the base 18.

The stem 20 extends through the chamber tube 12 wall and into the bottom portion of the chamber 28. Before use, the operator adds enough water or other liquid such that the inside end of the stem 20 is submerged, i.e. just below the stem aperture height 34.

As should be apparent, when the operator sucks on the mouth 14, it will cause airflow to be pulled down the stem 20 and through the liquid 30 in the bottom of the chamber 28. As the smoke is drawn through the liquid 30, it will be cooled as well as being “scrubbed” somewhat by the liquid. The grommet 24 prevents air from leaking into the chamber 28 when under suction, and further prevents liquid 30 from leaking out around the stem 20. For future reference, the stem 20 is cylindrical and has an outer diameter 36. The carburetor aperture 26 is an optional feature on water pipes 10 that is covered and uncovered by the operator as desired to improve the smoking experience.

The problem with these water pipes 10 is that the liquid tends to become soiled, smelly and unsightly if not cleaned thoroughly fairly often. As the liquid becomes soiled, it in turn transfers the contaminants to the inside surface 29 of the chamber tube in the form of brown stains. Serious scrubbing of the disassembled water pipe 10 many times will not be sufficient to remove all remnants of the brown stains.

What is needed, then, is a device and method that prevents the tar buildup on the walls and stem of a conventional water pipe without the need to modify its original design.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In light of the aforementioned problems associated with the prior devices and methods, it is an object of the present invention to provide a Disposable Water Pipe Liner. The liner should be insertible into the chamber tube of conventional water pipe such that it prevents tar buildup on the inside walls of the chamber tube. The chamber tube liner should also have a pre-formed aperture designed to be aligned with the stem aperture in the chamber tube. The liner may further have a plurality of guidelines inscribed upon it to aide users in trimming its length such that it is fitted to that user's water pipe. The liner should also include a stem tube liner for slipping over the inner end of the stem to also prevent its being coated with tar and other deposits.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The objects and features of the present invention, which are believed to be novel, are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with further objects and advantages, may best be understood by reference to the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, of which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional water pipe;

FIG. 2 is a cutaway side view of the pipe of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front view of a preferred embodiment of the chamber tube liner of the present invention;

FIGS. 4A and 4B are perspective and cutaway side views of a preferred embodiment of a stem tube sheath of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a cutaway side view of the pipe of FIGS. 1 and 2 having the liner and sheaths of FIGS. 4A/4B and 5 installed therein; and

FIG. 6 depicts the method for installing the devices of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following description is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use the invention and sets forth the best modes contemplated by the inventor of carrying out his invention. Various modifications, however, will remain readily apparent to those skilled in the art, since the generic principles of the present invention have been defined herein specifically to provide a Disposable Water Pipe Liner.

The present invention can best be understood by initial consideration of FIG. 3. FIG. 3 is a front view of a preferred embodiment of the chamber tube liner 40 of the present invention. The liner 40 is preferably formed from a thin sheet 42 of flexible plastic material. The sheet 42 is defined by a top edge 44, a bottom edge 46 and first and second side edges 48A and 48B. A stem-oriented aperture 50 is formed though the sheet 42 at a distance referred to here as the stem-oriented aperture height 52 from the bottom edge 46 of the sheet 42. The stem (see FIG. 2) will protrude through the stem-oriented aperture 50 when the liner 40 is installed in the pipe.

A plurality of radial slits 54 radiate outward from the perimeter of the stem-oriented aperture 50. The radial slits 54 allow the aperture 50 to expand to accommodate stems having larger diameters.

One long longitudinal slit 56 interconnects the aperture 50 with the bottom edge 46 of the sheet 42. The longitudinal slit will allow the liner 40 to be inserted into the water pipe chamber (and removed therefrom) without the need to remove the stem from the chamber tube.

In some versions, there may be one or more guidelines 60 running parallel to the bottom edge 46 in spaced relation thereto. The guidelines 60 provide easy reference guides for the operator to cut a strip off of the bottom of the sheet 42 so that the stem-oriented aperture height 52 is equal to the stem aperture height (see FIG. 2).

Since the designs change from water pipe to water pipe, the liner 40 will not typically be provided with a carburetor-oriented aperture 58 pre-formed in the sheet 42. It is a simple matter of forming the carburetor-oriented aperture 58 in the sheet 42 by pressing a hot paperclip or the like through the carburetor aperture (in the chamber tube) and through the liner sheet 42 once the liner 42 is installed in the chamber tube as shown in FIG. 5. FIGS. 4A and 4B depict another element of the present invention.

FIGS. 4A and 4B are perspective and cutaway side views of a preferred embodiment of a stem tube sheath 62. In order to prevent the stem from becoming coated with tar and other deposits, a sheath of plastic material is slipped over the portion of the stem extending into the chamber of the water pipe.

The sheath 62 is tubular in shape, with an outer surface 68 defined by the cylindrical wall 64 of the sheath 62. The sheath 62 further has a first end 66A and a second end 66B.

The inner sheath diameter 72 is large enough to allow the typical stem to slip into the sheath 62. Referring back to FIG. 3, it is noted that the radial slits also serve to hold the sheath 62 in place on the stem, even where there is excessive space between the inner surface 70 of the sheath 62 and the outer surface of the stem. The sheath 62 is preferably made from material similar to the thin sheet of the liner of FIG. 3, but could also be formed from material having somewhat more heat-resistant properties. The protected water pipe is shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 5 is a cutaway side view of the pipe 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2 having the liner and sheaths of FIGS. 4A/4B and 5 installed therein. As shown, the chamber tube liner 40 is inserted into the chamber tube 12 and is flat against the inner surface of the chamber 28. The liner 40 preferably extends over the entire height of the chamber 28, both above and below the level of the liquid 30.

Likewise, the stem tube sheath 62 protects any exposed surfaces of the stem 20 extending into the chamber 28. With the liner 40 and sheath 62 installed, the tar buildup will collect on the liner 40 and sheath 62, rather than the chamber and stem. Once the liner and sheath become soiled, it is a simple matter of removing them and inserting a clean and fresh liner and sheath. Finally, we will turn to FIG. 6 to examine the installation method for the liner and sheath.

FIG. 6 depicts the method 80 for installing the devices of the present invention. First, the water pipe is disassembled 100. This means emptying the liquid and removing the base and bottom cap, as well as the rim cover (if one is provided). If the stem tube sheath is not going to be installed, then the base and bottom cap do no have to be removed, but only the rim cover, if appropriate.

Once disassembled appropriately, the stem tube sheath is inserted into the chamber tube so that one end is aligned with the stem aperture. The stem may need to be slid out of the grommet partially so that the sheath can be slid over the end of the stem 104.

The chamber tube liner may need to be cut down in length 108 so that the stem-oriented aperture height is equal to or less than the stem aperture height.

The chamber tube liner is then rolled into the shape of a tube 106, such that it has a diameter that is less than the chamber tube diameter. Once rolled up, the chamber tube liner is inserted into the chamber tube 110. Once fully inserted, the operator needs to simply release the grasp on the liner 112, and the liner should expand outwardly until it is flat against the wall of the chamber tube.

If the pipe has a carburetor formed in its chamber tube wall, the carburetor-oriented aperture is formed at this point 116 by poking a sharpened or heated tool through the carburetor and the rolled up liner. The water pipe can then be reassembled 114, and placed into service.

In some versions of the invention, a variety of creative designs and effects may be incorporated into the liner to add to the aesthetic beauty of the water pipe, as well as to hide any partial tar buildup. Because the liner and sheath are disposable, they will provide a very low-cost way of personalizing the water pipe.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate that various adaptations and modifications of the just-described preferred embodiment can be configured without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Therefore, it is to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced other than as specifically described herein.